Posts categorized as History

Her Majesty’s bloomers

Bloomers front

Among the many treasures in the textiles collection at Te Papa there is one very large pair of drawers (or bloomers). These drawers were owned by Queen Victoria. After her death in 1901, Queen Victoria’s underwear was distributed to members of the Royal Household. This particular pair was owned by Lady Louisa Seddon, wife of… Read more »

Nostalgia for the Future

Sameshima - Portsmouth motors

If you are feeling nostalgic you are probably sentimentally yearning for a period in the past – for a happy, simpler time. But the past often thinks about the future, and its sometimes naïve and romantic imaginations can make you feel nostalgic too. Here’s Bernard Roundhill 1956 vision of Auckland in the year 2000. How we loved transport… Read more »

Kenneth Clark: making art inspirational

  • Auguste Rodin Eve 1881. Private Collection
  • Frances Hodgkins Pumpkins and Pimenti, 1935 (Fletcher Trust Collection, Auckland)
  • John Piper Coventry Cathedral 1940 © Crown Copyright, Manchester City Galleries
  • Bust of Charlemagne, c. 1350, Aachen Cathedral Treasury (Wikimedia Commons)

Imagine this: the Soundings Theatre at Te Papa is staging a lunchtime event. It seats just over 300, but the only problem is that 24,000 people want to be there. This was the scary scenario confronting the National Gallery, Washington, when it screened the first episode of the pioneering television art documentary series Civilisation: A… Read more »

The Moon: Getting up Close

Moon through GMT Sept 1873

“For thousands of years man has gazed up at the moon and wondered.” That’s roughly how those worthy documentary commentaries begin, isn’t it? Well, Te Papa’s forerunner museums responded to this curiosity in two acquisitions almost 100 years apart. The first was an 1873 photograph of the moon made by the Great Melbourne Telescope (GMT). This was one… Read more »

NZ Music Month: ‘Blue Smoke’

While May marks the beginning of winter, it also more cheerfully heralds New Zealand Music Month – that is a 31 day celebration of home-grown talent across the length and breadth of the country. With so much Kiwi music now ‘blasting through our airwaves, soaring off stages, and rumbling out of ludicrously lowered cars at the lights… Read more »

Pukehinahina / Gate Pā flag in front of Te Papa

  • Resized 5
  • Resized 4
  • Resized 3
  • Resized 2

Yesterday marked a huge day of commemorative activity in Tauranga to signify the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Pukehinahina /Gate Pā, and here in Wellington, Te Papa also contributed to the commemorations. The museum flew a replica of the Gate Pa flag from its main flagpoles to acknowledge the 150th anniversary. It was flown… Read more »

Traces of Pukehinahina / The Battle of Gate Pā in Te Papa – The New Zealand Wars

1992-0035-1631/9B
Watercolour
W.F. Gordon. 1869
Purchased 1916

“The Battle of Gate Pa was arguably the most important battle of the New Zealand Wars, in terms of both its political effects and its wider implications for military technology. Historians have failed to appreciate its full significance because the contemporary British interpretations, on which they rely, were dominated by the shock of defeat and… Read more »